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Natural resources of Pakistan

Introduction
Resources are defined as a means of meeting a need, particularly an
economic or social need, of the people. The term usually refers to natural
resources like land, water, air. Natural resources are largely unchanged
materials of the land that are valuable to people and used in variety of ways.
Pakistan is rich in natural resources. It has mountains, plains, deserts, fertile
soils, rivers and oceans. Natural Resources are very important for the
development and prosperity of a country. The important thing is to utilize
them for the welfare of the human beings and development of the country
economically because the progress of a country totally depends upon the
utilization of the available resources. The important natural resources are
described as under:
1. Soil
The Soil of Pakistan belongs to dry group having high calcium carbonate and
content and deficient in organic matter. These vary in colour from reddish
brown in the north to red or gray in the south. These soils are generally
fertile due to process of formation. The newly deposited alluvium near the
river is called Khaddar and mostly consists of sand. The old alluvium of the
bar uplands, called Bangar, consists of finer particles - loams. At the foot of
the mountains the soil is sandy and generally becomes finer towards the
plains where Khankah, limestone concentration, is occasionally found. The
soils of the Thal and the Thar deserts and of Balochistan are wind-blown. In
southern Potwar a thin layer of residual soil covering is found.
Soil is defined as that part of the unconsolidated material covering the
surface of the earth which supports plant growth. It has three major
constituents. (1) Solid Particles (Salts, mineral and organic matter), (2) air
and (3) water. The type of soil formed is a function of topography, climate
vegetation and the parent rocks from which the soil material is derived. Soil
material transported and deposited by running water is known as alluvium
which that transported and deposited by winds form aeolian soil. Soils
formed in silt are termed residual. Soil forming process is complex and
continuous. As a result, soils vary in their chemical composition colour,
texture and organic content place to place.
2. Water
Water is basic need of life. Human beings, animals and plants cannot live
without water. Water is essential for sustaining quality of life on earth. This
finite commodity has a direct bearing on almost all sectors of economy. In

Five major tributaries joining its eastern side are Jhelum. By preventing soil erosion. The increasing pressures of population and industrialization have already placed greater demands on water. Decomposition of leaves helps in humus formation. The desired level of forests is 20-30 percent of the total land of a country. 3. once a water-surplus country with huge water-resources of the Indus River System. three minor tributaries are the Soan. The share of agricultural sector in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Pakistan is about 25%.66. Keenjhar Lake. Forests Forests are extensive. The oxygen in the air is essential for our life whereas other gases are necessary for animal and plant life. This ensures food supply to millions of people.8 percent of the total area is forested which is very low. besides. which maintains the fertility of the soil. The forests of Pakistan reflect great physiographic. with an ever increasing number and intensity of local and regional conflicts over its availability and use. Forests are important in many different ways. In Pakistan only about 4. Since agriculture is the major user of water. the trees on the slopes of hills also regulate the supply of water to the reservoirs thereby reducing floods.km. Harow.Pakistan its importance is more than ordinary due to the agrarian nature of the economy. continuous areas of land dominated by trees. particularly on sloping ground. These are the base of existence of ever form of life on earth. Air/Winds Air is very important for the existence of life because all living beings respire through air. oxygen and carbon dioxide etc. Ravi. they help to maintain a balance in the environment by checking pollution and protecting the soil from erosion by wind or water and intercepting rainfall. 4. and Siran. Manchhar Lake. From an ecological point of view. the high aridity index of the country is adding further to the significance of water in development activities in Pakistan. Surface waterresources of Pakistan are mainly based on the flows of the Indus River and its tributaries. The famous lakes of Pakistan are Haleji Lake. therefore sustainability of agriculture depends on the timely and adequate availability of water. Beas and Sutlej. The air is composed of nitrogen. Chenab. Hana Lake. . Historically. Saiful Muluk Lake. which drain in mountainous areas. The Indus River has a total length of 2900 kilometres (Km) and the drainage-area is about 9.000 sq. Though. climate and edaphic contrasts in the country. Pakistan is now a water-deficit country.

fuller's earth. pharmaceutical paper. barites. bentonite. fire clay. chromite. Alpine forests grow just below the snow line. These are the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC). There are many employment opportunities that depend on the forests. Pakistan is a world leader in the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for personal automobiles. Besides rock salt. They help in giving an initial push to the raising of production in all sectors of the economy. Pakistan has extensive energy resources. including fairly sizable natural gas reserves. fluorite. Below 1000 meters. magnetite and uranium useful deposits of magnetite. and the need to import oil has contributed to Pakistan's trade deficits and past shortages of foreign exchange. coniferous forests are found. copper. as is the substitution of indigenous gas for imported oil. 5. there is hardly any vegetation. especially in the production of power. only irrigated plantations have good species of wood. coal. dolomite. soap stone and molybdenum are found in the country development. Pakistan has a large variety of minerals some of which have Bubatantial reserves and quite a few are of high quality. Minerals and Power/Energy Resources Minerals and power resources are the foundation of economic development. ore. the Resource Development Corporation (RDC) and the Geological Survey of Pakistan (GSP). phosphate rock. gypsum.From a commercial and industrial point of view. some proven oil reserves. timber. The current government has announced that privatization in the oil and gas sector is a priority. the exploitation of energy resources has been slow due to a shortage of capital and domestic political constraints. coal and a large hydropower potential. From 1000 to 4000 meters.g. sulphur. marble. forests provide raw materials to various industries e. silica sand. Domestic petroleum production totals only about half the country's oil needs. promote tourism and provide employment in the forest department. However. antimony ore. Semi-autonomous corporations under the Ministry of Petroleum and natural resources have been set up for the purpose. china clay. iron. . The type and distribution of forests are closely linked to altitude. limestone. bauxite. They also have recreational value. In areas above the snow line.